UW Trustees Add One-Time Payment for Some Employees to Pay Raise Plan

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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LARAMIE, Wyo. (RELEASE) - University of Wyoming employees making less than $150,000 annually will receive base pay raises of $1,400 or $1,900, along with additional increases based upon merit, market and compression issues, in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

UW’s Board of Trustees today (Thursday) approved the plan for employee compensation increases proposed by the university’s administration. The allocation methodology focuses on providing larger percentage raises to employees in the lowest pay grades without creating additional salary compression.

Additionally, the trustees approved a one-time incentive payment for the approximately 1,100 benefited classified staff members making $60,000 or less annually. The payment -- expected to total between $1,750-$1,900 for each of those employees -- will be split between their July 2022 and March 2023 paychecks. For those classified staff members who are benefited part-time employees or benefited calendar employees, the amount will be prorated based on the calculated hourly rate from their base pay.

The one-time incentive payment is an addition to the plan presented to the board to distribute $8 million annually in ongoing dollars for pay raises appropriated by the Wyoming Legislature and Gov. Mark Gordon during the recent budget session. The one-time payment will be funded by $1.5 million transferred from the trustees’ special projects reserve, along with $500,000 from President Ed Seidel’s discretionary recruitment, retention and presidential impact funds.

“We appreciate the board’s support for our plan, which aims to make the biggest difference for our lower-paid employees while providing flexibility for supervisors at the unit level to direct dollars to where they’re needed most,” Seidel says. “We also appreciate the board’s willingness to allocate additional funding for the one-time payment, which will come at a crucial time for many of our lower-paid employees who are especially affected by inflation.”

Under the plan for permanent raises approved by the board, the increase of about $8 million annually will be equally divided into two pools:

-- The first pool provides for a salary increase of $1,900 for employees with base pay up to $79,999.99, decreasing to $1,400 for employees with base pay between $80,000-$149,999.99. Employees with base salaries above $150,000 will not be eligible for an increase from this pool. For those near the bottom of the pay scale, making about $24,000 annually, this piece of the increase equates to about 8 percent; for those making $149,000, it will be just under 1 percent.

-- The second pool equates to an additional 2.25 percent raise overall but will be discretionary and used to individually address merit, market and compression issues. Funds will be distributed at the unit level, with unit allocations based on each unit’s percentage of total payroll for employee base pay up to $150,000 -- although those making more than that could receive increases from this pool.

All benefited employees hired before Jan. 5, 2022, will be eligible to receive salary increases, regardless of the funding source. Probationary staff employees will be included in the allocation, but those increases will not be effective until completion of the probation period. Employees receiving promotion or retention raises during the current fiscal year are not excluded.

Distribution of funds from the second pool to address merit, market and compression to individual employees will be at the discretion of the department head or director, although those plans will have to be reviewed and approved by the provost for academic colleges and the appropriate vice president for nonacademic divisions.

State-funded graduate assistant stipend minimum amounts will increase by 4 percent; departments could offer higher stipend amounts if other funding is available.

The plan was developed with input from a salary administration, classification and compensation working group appointed by Seidel that included faculty and staff senate leadership. Feedback from the president’s cabinet also shaped the proposal.

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